How Steve Urkel Became the Hit Character on Family Matters

Aired on 05/01/1995 | CC tv-pg
With his pants hitched above his navel and sporting his trademark oversize eyeglasses, Steve Urkel is one of the most memorable television characters of the '90s. Urkel made the show Family Matters a hit—but he wasn't in the original cast. Initially, the program focused on police officer Carl Winslow and his family. Midway through the first season, the nerdy next-door neighbor Urkel was introduced, and the rest is history.

In 1995, the actor behind the glasses, Jaleel White, told Oprah why the network decided to make his character a mainstay, which changed his life forever. Here, he explains how a fraternity chant gave him a chance to become a cultural icon.

Original airdate: May 1, 1995